Developers Nervous About Oracle Verdict in the Android-Java Case

The jury is currently deliberating its verdict in the first phase of the Oracle v. Google lawsuit, and the development community is watching with great concern. While patent infringement lawsuits are pretty standard fare in the tech industry, this portion of the trial concerns copyright law. Some fear that a verdict in favor of Google will open up developers to a new flood of copyright lawsuits. “The consequences obviously are very far-reaching,” said Scott Sellers, CEO of Azul Systems. “You kind of have the troll effect.”

An anonymous former Sun official opined, “The background point to make about APIs is it’s fairly well settled, I believe, in the software industry that the creative part of software is in the implementation. It’s not in the APIs.” It would be “very much a backward step for software development” if the jury finds that APIs are subject to copyright law, he added.

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